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Monday, June 18, 2007

Healing and Growing

Where Do We Go From Here?

We were 4.5 games in front when May ended. Now we are 1.5 games in front. We've won three games in that stretch. It's depressing, and hard to be optimistic lately, but if there was ever a reason, that's it. We went a stretch where we won three of 15 games. Not even the 1964 Mets played that badly over the season, so when we only lose three games in the standings it gives me faith that even if we continued to play like the 1964 Mets, we'd probably maintain the lead.

Now before all you worry warts use that as ammunition, we're not going to play like that team for long. It's just not going to happen, we're not going to continually leave dozens of runners on base. If A-Rod could get over that adversity, surely the Mets and Carlos Beltran can too. Our pitching isn't going to be this bad forever. El Duque probably was due for a bad start or two, and Glavine is a veteran, he'll figure this out and bounce back. Meanwhile, Oliver Perez is making a case to start as many possible big games as humanly possible. John Maine hasn't been excellent like he was in April, but he hasn't been horrible either. He's learning to minimize the damage when he doesn't have it, and maximize the innings when he does. Jorge Sosa has had two bad starts, and even if we never got another one from him, he's been a big contributor.

The Mets have growing, and healing to do. Pedro's well on his way to returning. Delgado, whether from some sort of residual pain or weakness from his surgery, or whatever it is, isn't this bad. He'll be good again, even if it's only for September and October. Beltran will heal his left quadricep back to 90% and be good again. Gomez looks like he'll only grow and get better. I think having him up here with Veteran hitters and runners is going to help loads more then playing consistantly in New Orleans. Valentin still is probably aching a bit. Alou will eventually heal, as will Lastings Milledge, for whatever he's worth. Scott Schoeneweis will either learn how to pitch effectively with his injury, Willie will learn how and when he can use him to maximize effectiveness, or hopefully he'll be forced to get surgery and heal. Mota hasn't looked good, and he's one of the more legitimate concerns in my eyes. I'm in favor of some auditions of our minor league relievers, and I imagine Minaya has been on the phone constantly trying to plug some gaps and fine tune this team.

I see the signs of the offense breaking out of this slump, the problem is that the pitching has fallen apart recently. When Glavine and Hernandez pitch them out of games early, it must be hard mentally to overcome a slump and get some hits. I don't expect it to be much longer.

Earlier in the season we had our share of problems too. Orlando Hernandez went on the DL, Valentin wasn't hitting that well, then went on the DL. Delgado and Wright went through some slumps, Pelfrey wasn't able to ever pitch well enough to win. Heilman hasn't pitched very well at all. With all this, the Mets still came out and won. Injuries happen, slumps happen, and the Mets will overcome that. They'll have a stretch where they'll be better than we've seen all year, and while many of you will still be waiting by the ledge for the right time to jump, others of us will enjoy it.

And please, do not boo Carlos Beltran tonight. He's slumping, but so is the whole team. It's not his fault solely, and rather then getting on him, which we know gets to him, how about we give him the benefit of the doubt. The Mets need some confidence right now, and booing him is only going to hurt that.

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